tv [untitled] CSPAN March 10, 2010 8:30pm-9:00pm EST
unemployment would have hit 10.8% higher than december's 10. -- 10% rate without the recovery act. the difference would have translated into another 1.2 million jobs lost. these problems were used in the making and they're not going to be fixed overnight. in fact, i can argue that it's a decade of failed economic policies that have led us here. . when president clinton left office, our country was facing a $5.6 trillion surplus, a $5.6 trillion surplus and when president bush left office, we were facing a $13 trillion deficit. so it is very clear after two tax cuts to the wealthiest among us, after two wars and a
prescription drug plan that left a huge doughnut hole for average working families and seniors, we have a deficit now that has put us on the brink. and that's why we have a quick reaction and that's why we passed the american recovery act. i want to call on my colleague from california, because she's going to talk about how this has impacted the largest state in the country and what it has meant for california. i yield time to congresswoman chu from california. ms. chu: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm proud to be a member of the democratic congressional jobs working group. together, we are proposing solutions to our job crisis. one of those proposals is h.r. 4564, the emergency jobs program and assistance for families act. this bill extends an extremely successful employment program that we call jobs now.
it had created over 156,000 jobs over 29 states and is still developing more. in palmdale, california, jobs now, helped a single mother of two find a job at a local coffee house. the regular pay check puts food on the table and is helping her get through a rough patch. her boss is impressed with her work and plans to permanently hire her and the other three employees they brought in. this makes jobs now a model for job creation. without it, the coffee house wouldn't be able to grow its business or take on new employees. jody wouldn't have had a chance to learn new skills and support her family. i first heard of this innovative program in los angeles county. one of the superviseors created 11,000 jobs in the last year using stimulus funds to create
subsidized jobs. how does this work? eligible participants are placed into subsidized jobs in all sectors of the economy from nonprofits to government agencies to private businesses and are matched with jobs that come pleament their employment goals. the employer must provide supervision with 20% of the wage cost and make sure the job doesn't displace an existing employee or replace someone who was to be promoted. the county is paying 80%. some examples of these jobs include park rangers, receptionists, teacher assistants, dental assistant train yees, customer service clerks and child care workers. workers get paid $10 per hour for 40 hours a week. jobs now aplows the employee and businesses to succeed. i have spoken about this program and i keep on hearing about how
this program is a win-win. it works for both workers and businesses. workers benefit by getting hands-on experience where they earn wages, develop new skills and enhance existing skills. businesses get the help they need to grow or expand while temporarily reducing payroll costs. companies may decide to hire these subsidized workers permanently as the economy improves. the jobs generated by this program can help businesses expand by reducing their economic risks and need for expensive loans. california is leading the nation in creating these subsidized jobs. for instance, z cube, a high-tech firm in california, hired two low-tech employees. very quickly, they showed they were motivated and quick to learn. now one of the employees runs web seminars and the other is a project coordinator.
only through jobs now that z cube and other businesses feel secure in taking on new workers in this economic environment. you can see that across california in this map here many, many jobs are created. fresno, 1,000 jobs were created. san francisco, 15,000 jobs. los angeles, 11,000 jobs created by the counties' job nouse program in less than a year. the state present difficulties that 25,000 jobs will be created through the jobts now program by the end -- jobs now program by the end of present funding. however, we must act quickly or the job placements will stop when the program expires on september 30. programs often run for six months, many localities are planning to discontinue their jobs program in anticipation of the emergency funds expiration
date. almost 60,000 will disappear if the fund expires. in california, l.a. county will stop placing participants in new jobs in june. san bernandino county has to stop creating new jobs in april. sacramento county will stop putting jobs in march. it will pay people in shorter periods and then stop the program all together. but the full amount of funding has yet to be claimed by the states. the recovery act authorized $5 billion for jobs now employment zizzation programs, but actually, less than $1.5 billion has been accessed by the states and the program is still in the process of expanding. and that's why i'm proposing, along with representative mcdermott, a bill that will allow more states to help their residents get back on their feet
and into a job. and, in fact, all across the country, there have been programs such as this. we can see that all across the country in the dark green spots that there have been successful programs. in sen tennessee, they focused on a rural county which was hard-hit by plant forecast. the unemployment rate rose to 27%. they brought human services agencies and the business community and developed a subsidized employment program for over 500 individuals. in mississippi, the state has developed a steps program, which uses jobs now money that creates private sector jobs that transition into permanent employment. it reduces its commitment until
the business can support the employee on its own. as you can see, 29 states across the country have implemented programs that created subsidized jobs and even more want to jump on the band wagon. that's why people on each side of the aisle are in strong support of this proposal. president obama is a strong supporter. besides the funding in the recovery act, he has proposed a $2.5 billion increase and year-long extension for this upcoming year's budget. but it's not just the president who thinks this is a good idea. there is deep bipartisan support. the american enterprise institute recently wrote in "business week" that the program should be renewed and given the state of the labor market, it's hard to imagine how any sensible person could oppose such a move. jobs now allows states to be in the driver's seat.
and that is why the national governors' association supports it, urging congress to support an extension because of the benefits to the states. the human cost of the recession has been high. it's easy to think of unemployment in terms of numbers and statistics, but numbers cannot describe the anxiety and fear a person feels when they are unemployed. numbers can't show the hope and pride a person feels when they find a job. i was moved by the words of ms. taylor. she is a mother of two children, one with autism. she has been living on her aunt's couch because she couldn't find work. because of a jobs through jobs now she was able to get back on to her feet and into her own apartment. she told california social services, you guys gave me a chance when the whole world was saying, no, not this time.
without this program, i could not have paid my rent and me and my babies would be on the streets. she's not the only one. there are millions of economically disadvantaged people on the front lines of this economy. they are struggling every day. the jobs now emergency fund gives them a chance to find work and start moving towards the future. it helps businesses expand in these tough times. i strongly urge the house leadership and my colleagues not to forget the thousands of people who need this help. we must pass h.r. 4564 for jobs now. mr. boccieri: i thank gentlelady from california who made compelling arguments about why california needs to have this investment. and while we are joined with several of my colleagues here tonight, let me say a bit about what we're doing to create jobs in ohio. ohio's 16th congressional district, we had good news. rolls royce, an international
company, has announced they will move their fuel cell research from singapore to stark county, ohio and expand their research and development activities, investing $3 million in equipment creating up to 60 jobs while offering training programs with the local college. barbasol invested dollars to buy land and new plant in ashland, ohio. the plant will start with 30 new employees and grow up to 75. scotts miracle grow is opening a plant in ohio and expected to create 100 jobs in the next several months. a potato chip company broke ground earlier this summer to break ground. they will hire 100 employees.
these are the types of success stories that have been helped, if not augmented, by the efforts of the american recovery and stimulus act. i yield time to my distinguished friend from virginia, congressman scott. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman from ohio for his leadership in bringing us together to make sure we discuss the importance of creating jobs. i think it's important that we put our job efforts in perspective, because a little over a year ago when this administration came into office, we were losing jobs at the rate of over 700,000 per month, every month. 700,000 jobs a month. and we passed the -- reacted to it bypassing the american recovery and reinvestment act. we have slowly made some progress. losing fewer and fewer jobs every month.
but that's obviously not sufficient. we have to do better than that. we have to put this in perspective. we are losing all of those jobs and we found ourselves not only in the ditch in the economy but with the federal budget. we had a huge deficit, which limited our ability to respond to this challenge. we are also shooting at a moving target. just this week, the virginia legislature, my home state of virginia, will pass a budget that will cut approximately $4 billion out of the budget. now, virginia is about 2% of the population. $4 billion. california is cutting $20 billion, little over 10% of the population. if you take that out nationally, $200 billion that the states will be cutting out of their budget this year. on top of about 300 billion they
cut last year. that's $500 billion that would have been cut out of budgets in the last two years. so the first $500 billion of job creation we do will hire the people that have been laid off on the state level. as much as we're doing on the federal level, it's obvious that we are shooting at a moving target. states are laying off people as fast as they can and we are trying to create jobs. part of the federal investment will help states retain some of their critical employees, public safety, first responders and teachers. the american recovery and reinvestment act made significant investment in funding states and helping with their health care and other critical needs so that they would not have to lay off as many as they're doing. but some of the major investments that are doing the most good are those that were made in infrastructure and
transportation. we still have a 10% unemployment rate, so obviously a lot has to be done and it's those investments in transportation and infrastructure can be the most effective in creating jobs. when responding to a recession, we use the shorthand of three t's. we want the response to be timely, targeted and temporary. timely, because sooner or later the recession will be over. we want to make sure we take timely action. targeted, you want to take the money that is most needed. need to stimulate the money. and it's temporary. when the recession -- when they recover from the recession, we don't want to be stuck with ongoing programs and expenses that we will have to continue to fund. and transportation and infrastructure projects fulfill
the three t's. they are timely, targeted and temporary. they are timely for aiming at programs that are shovel-ready, no environment needed, nothing else needed, no anything, ready to go. we are targeted at agencies that are most in need, the construction industry in many states has unemployment rates of 25% or more. it's temporary, when you fund a project, when the project is completed, you stop spending the money. when you complete the school, you don't have to spend any more money and don't have to continue paying salaries on and on. . throughout the nation transit systems are cutting back in employment. one place elimb nate 25% of its
work force. chicago laid off 1,000 workers and so investments in the transit system are areas where we can make timely and targeted investments. across the nation these are necessary projects across the -- projects of the across the nation, 78 metropolitan areas have identified over $240 billion in needed transit investments that need to be done. while these jobs not only -- these jobs not only put people back to work, they complete needed projects. these investments are also very effective in creating jobs, for over $1 billion the federal government puts in infrastructure, the economic activity is about $6 billion and about $35 -- 35,000 jobs are created. now we need these projects and we found that a lot of them are ready to go now. public transportation association identified projects, $15 billion worth of projects,
that are ready to go, as soon as we fund them, they're ready to go. the highway department, the highway associations across the country identified 7,000 ready-to-go highway projects and bridge projects. almost $50 billion ready to go as soon as we come up with the money. so not only are these projects needed, they can be timely and they can put people to work. we have found that when we fund a construction project, when it's ready to go the contractors can hire their employers within a couple of weeks and they're on the job right then. so we have timely probablies that are ready to go, we have put money into it and 2/3 of the projects that have been funded, the construction has already started. so we have more work to do. we still have a 10% unemployment rate because the states are still laying people off, we still have to start creating jobs. i'm happy to report that today
the gentleman from california, mr. miller, the chairman of the education and labor committee, has introduced a bill with significant new investments in infrastructure and transportation. these will be -- make sure that we have these workers on the job in a very short order. the miller jobs bill will create jobs quickly and efficiently, if states continue to lay people off we need to make sure that we're creating as many jobs as we possibly can on the federal level. we should give the miller jobs bill quick consideration so the jobs can be created when they are needed and that's right now. so i'd like to thank the gentleman from ohio for bringing us together, for talking about jobs and encouraging us to continue doing what we need to do to create jobs and end the unemployment problems that we're having today. thank you very much. mr. boccieri: i thank the senior gentleman from virginia. i just want to be clear about your chart. it looks as if that we stabilized the job losses in
this country and started to grow them again after the recovery act was passed. is that -- mr. scott: the recovery act was passed right down here and since then we have been making progress. but losing fewer jobs is not good enough. we need to continue this chart and in short order we'll be creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, putting people back to work, those who have lost their jobs need to be rehired. we need to create about 100,000 jobs a month just to keep up with the population growth. and so this chart is just the beginning. by the middle of this year we hope to be well into the plus, creating jobs, hiring people and bringing people back from the unemployment line. mr. boccieri: these are exciting numbers. and we've got to get people back to work. and i concur with the gentleman from virginia. let me just revisit for just a moment exactly what the recovery act and the stimulus bill included. 37% of the package were tax cuts, tax cuts.
$288 billion were given to small businesses so that they could help grow and invest in our new economy. in my opinion that's going to be on -- going to be our investment in energy. $288 billion were invested back so small businesses could start growing again and investing back. largest tax cut in america's history, largest tax cut for working middle class families. in fact, 95% of middle class families in our country got some tax relief through their employer. $144 billion or 18% of the recovery act was allocated to state and local fiscal relief. more than 90% of the state aid were going to help folks who were finding themselves under medicaid rolls, fighting to make sure we didn't have double-digit increases of tuition across state universities and so that our local school districts could keep teachers hired and we could keep custodians in the building.
this is very important, mr. speaker, that we understand that we help bring our economy back from the brink of a great recession. as that contemporary -- as that contemporary commercial says today, how will we remember this time? how will we remember it? will we remember it as the great recession or the recession that made us great? i think with these key investments into our people and into our work force and our country, we are definitely making our country stronger. i want to take a moment to recognize the distinguished gentleman that i have a lot of respect for. not only do we share a common heritage, but we share a common belief that we should invest in our people, in our country, and in our way of life. congressman pascrell from new jersey, the man who i have a lot of respect for, and i'd like to yield him some time so he can talk about exactly what we're doing to help put america back to work.
congressman pascrell, my friend, you have the floor. mr. pascrell: i thank you for yielding, i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, if you look at the data it is clear that since the start of the obama administration and the passage of the recovery act which you've heard depicted by the three former speakers we are stemming in number of job losses per month. there is no doubt about that. but we need to do everything we can to actually start gaining jobs instead of just losing fewer. and it would seem by the charts, it would seem by the facts that in the next several months we will see finally for the first time in several years a plus in terms of the creation of jobs. the u.s. jobs deficit has
reached millions. our unemployment rate is 9.7%, that is in intolerable rate. and the problem we are face something how to address the shortfall in employment opportunities and articulate a new strategy that targets and edge gauges our small -- engages our small businesses and american workers. mr. speaker, we simply need jobs. which brings me to what i think is the most obvious answer. it was obvious many years ago, it's obvious now. our infrastructure. our infrastructure is in disrepair. and it's not just our roads and it's not just our bridges that are falling down. earlier this year the american
society of civil engineers gave the nation's wastewater systems and water systems the lowest grade of any infrastructure category, a d minus. and i want to have our viewers in the house -- this is a rotted water main pipe. much like the pipes in many of our districts, in many of our communities. i like to call these the out of sight, out of mind pipes. you don't see them. until you have a problem with your water main. but as we have learned over the last couple of years, just because our infrastructure needs are not visible doesn't mean that they are not deteriorating. a quick look at the recent news headlines across the country illustrates the state of our water infrastructure and i can only list a few because time is not -- does not permit.
the franklin water main break closes roads and schools, says franklin, new jersey. the land castor water main breaks, a sink hole swallows a car in california. the water main break in manhattan causes evacuations in traffic, subway disruptions in new york city. the water main break cuts off water service to the medical center in west virginia. here we have a new -- an illustration of the water main break on river road in bethesda, maryland. watching people airlifted out of their cars, we're not making this stuff up. this is real. in metropolitan d.c. on christmas eve, 2008, was quite a spectacle. one headline actually read,
"water main break forces dramatic rescue of nine" the road literally exploded. we cannot turn a blind eye to two realities. america needs jobs and our infrastructure cannot put people to work fast enough. as a former mayor of patterson, new jersey, i understand the significance of local water and wastewater systems. a strong water infrastructure is essential to the community's public health and economic vitality. the environmental protection agency and the general accounting office estimate that community water systems will require $500 billion above their expected rate of investment in order to meet save drinking water standards and sanitation
needs just over the next 20 years. as congress struggles with historic deficits, i strongly believe that we must leverage private capital investment and look at options for public-private partnerships and that's what we are talking about this evening. in order to encourage this possibility i introduced the sustainable water infrastructure investment act, h.r. 537, which will generate significant investment through the use of tax exempt bobbeds for water infrastructure -- bonds for water infrastructure and that is water and wastewater projects. congress already exempts airports, intercity rail, solid waste disposal sites from those bond caps. my bill would remove water infrastructure projects from the cap as well by exempting water
projects from the bond cap, we can get people working on the very projects to my right in 90 to 120 days. this suspect hot air, this is real relief, this is real jobs. standards and poor estimates that $180 billion in new money infrastructure is available for investment. this capital cannot be deployed until a private activity bond cap exemption is crested. this legislation aims to repair our crumbling water infrastructure while leveraging private capital to private -- to create jobs. every dollar investmented in water -- public -- invested in public water and infrastructure will add $8.97 to the